Race Report: Cenise Bargy, January 31, 2010

Podium- First place individual women

The Cenise Bargy is a race I have always wanted to do.  I heard about it last year  after the fact, so I had my heart set on doing it this year. It was a great memory and great to take home the first place for  individual women. My current coach of the Chamonix Ski Alpinisme Club- Yann Gachet was the winner last year. He gave me a few tips on the course but all in all I had no idea what I was up for.

The race consisted of 3 legs, combining two of the things I love to do: ski Mountaineering and skate Skiing. You could race as a team or individually.Though I don’t focus much on skate skiing, I did have a chance to go out with the local adult ski de fond club a couple times coached by the famous Lionel Tarantola- who gave me great tips about keeping myself upright and my legs bent- in the crouching position. This really has helped both my skate and my ski mountaineering technique. I do cross train with classic and skate sking for my ski mountaineering. It breaks up the hill climbing a bit and also is good for the endurance and most of all fun!

Start of Cenise Bargy with teammates from Chamonix Ski Alpinisme Club

1st leg  depart on foot and run with skis for 835 meters, then an 820 meters climb with 700 meter descent

1st Leg- 800 meters of climbing followed by a descent of 700m

First leg of the Race- 800 meters of climbing and then 700+ to descend

2nd leg- 3 loops of 2.7 km skate

2nd Leg- 2.8km Skate loop x 3

3rd Leg -Ski Mountaineering 570 meters climb and descent

3rd Leg- 500 meters of climbing-then a descent

The temperature was -16 degrees C. in farenheit around -1. This was really cold. My hands have been suffering a lot this winter from cold temps. For the first leg I had hand warmers in my gloves but I made a mistake and changed gloves during the skate section  and thenI could not feel my fingers. I constantly tried to open and close them to generate blood flow. During the 3rd leg- the down mittens went on with hand warmers and it was much better.

This event was having it’s 15th anniversary. Bam, the man, english teacher and fellow teammate from the Chamonix Mont Blanc Marathon running club, organized the race with a great crew of people. It has been one of my most memorable races so far this year, a great ambience, nice meal and all levels from national team members to other folks just wanting to get out and have some fun on a sunday in the mountains.

Another  cool thing about this race was that it gave a donation of the procedes to a cause- The Orchid Association- http://www.lorchidee.org/pages/presentation.html This organization  helps children with terminal illnesses. To me, so much about doing sport is about inspiring others to get out there and enjoy,  take care of their bodies and minds, but also about giving back to acause when possible.

The best part of the race was a surprise greeting by Michael, my boys and Meg. We all enjoyed a great meal together in good company and the boys shared the podium with me during the award ceremony.

Nina on the Podium with her 2 boys!

I will not hang up my skate skis for the season, but no more skate races.  Now my energy focusses toward the Team World Cup this weekend at Gastlosen in Suisse where I will race with my team mate Lyndsay Meyer. After that things gear up. We head to Sicily- the Italian volcanic island. Yes, there is ski mountaineering there, and they will host an individual world cup this year. Let’s hope the volcano is not active while we are racing! . After that it’s gearing up for the the World Championships in Andorra and the Pierra Menta.

Thanks again for all your support and thanks for reading!.

Here is a cool video of the 2010 race that gives you a sense of what it was all about. Cenise Bargy 2010 YouTube